The recent rise in food consciousness has made many people ask for foods that are grown organically; no fertilizers, pest control methods, anything other than what Mother Nature provides. Yet others prefer to eat food with fewer miles.

That is, food that is grown closer to where they are consumed. The concept of food miles is rocking the consumer produce market and it can ultimately contribute to the goal of saving the world. Some people have taken this desire to have foods that are close to home to the next level. They have started growing their own food and make things like wine and beer in their own homes!

Home beer makers and winemakers usually do it as a hobby, but some have grown into local enterprises. Communities of enthusiasts regularly convene to try out each other's wines and beers. Most make their wine or beer in sheds or basements and enjoy the fruits of their labour in their own homes. If you're interested in making wine then you'll need wine ingredients and home wine making supplies.

A set of wine making supplies won't cost too much. It's mostly tanks, bottles, tubes, and barrels (optional, though some would have it no other way). The basic ingredients for wine are not hard to find; the better kinds might take a bit of digging around though. Home wine making supplies can be bought from specialty stores.

These stores would also usually have a wealth of information for the starting home winemaker. Ask around and they would probably recommend a starter set or a selection of tools based on your needs.

Note that home wine making supply stores also serve as meeting places for fellow home wine makers and a lot can be gained from visiting regularly. These folks love talking about their wines and would not hesitate to lend a helping hand to a newcomer.

They'll help you get on your feet and will get you up to speed on the latest news on the scene. They also have a lot of tips to share and often talk to each other on how to improve wine qualities and home production methods.

You will not need much space to do this either. Just a corner in your basement or a small shed to store your equipment. The wine, whether in steel fermenting tanks or the traditional, old-school barrels, should be kept somewhere cool; the basement is ideal for this. If ever you are unsure of what to do, ask your new wine making friends or look it up on the World Wide Web.

If the concept of home wine making intrigues and interests you, and you feel that you are ready to undertake this fun and rewarding endeavour, here's a short checklist for you. One, find some space; you'll need enough for the wine making process and fermentation vessel storage. Two, know what kind of wine you want to make; this will influence your choice of grapes, yeasts, and even your fermentation containers.

Third, ask for help and advice from local home wine makers. Fourth, find a home wine making supply store, and buy what you need. Finally, set it up and you're ready to go.

Remember that wine needs to age and mature. This hobby is not for the impatient, as it may be weeks or months and even years, if you're totally serious, before you can get a taste of the results. So leave that barrel in the basement alone; good things come to those who wait.

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